This December has been even colder and snowier than usual, so I’ve been fighting a constant desire to stay home and to only venture out into the world when completely unavoidable. As a result, in the bone shatteringly frigid evenings I’ve been spending a lot of time on the couch by the light of the Christmas tree devouring the twin guilty pleasures of The Vampire Diaries and The Walking Dead (no spoilers please, I’m only about half way through season 4!).
So, everything I’ve been watching for the past few weeks has featured either vampires or zombies, and this starts to affect how you see the world. My husband has checked that his emergency survival kit is complete and ready to go, and I am constantly vigilant for sounds of shuffling feet or breaking glass. When I watch my third guilty pleasure, Coronation Street, in the back of my mind I’m wondering why it’s taking so long for any zombies to appear and wreak havoc in the pub.
One of the most fascinating things about Walking Dead is that no matter what is going on in the outside world, people are people. I mean, despite the fact that the main characters are facing constant danger from grotesque teeth gnashing zombies, they still find time to fall in love, argue with their spouses, disagree with their parents, and take offense at something their friend said behind their backs. At this stage in the show, it is really a soap opera or updated Greek myth with zombies wandering around and occasionally taking out an expendable character. But the relationships between the characters is what makes me keep watching.
The Walking Dead and Tarot?
So how does Walking Dead relate to Tarot? I do usually have Tarot on the brain, but what I see here is that the archetypes that are so elegantly depicted in the Major Arcana are part of the very fiber of our lives, and illustrate all human drama. When I watch Walking Dead, I see a Tarot story playing out, the Minors tell the story, each character is a Major. Not to geek out too much, but here’s how I see it: Rick/Emperor, Lori/The World, Karl/The Fool (but becoming the Magician), Darryl/The Chariot, Carol/Strength, Hershel/The Heirophant, Michonne/Justice, Walkers/Death, Judith/The Sun, Maggie and Glenn/The Lovers, the Governor/The Devil.
Walking Dead isn’t unique in this phenomenon, all good stories have most or all of these archetypes. This is one of the reasons why the Tarot resonates with us so deeply and clearly. Keep the Majors in mind the next time you pick up a novel or turn on the TV, you’ll see your favorite cards in the thick of all the action. This is actually a great way to get to know your cards, try to find them in books, movies, in song lyrics, in people walking down the street, everywhere. You’ll find that this is surprisingly easy and quite amazing. Make sure to jot down what you see in your journal, the cards will really start to permeate your life.